White House press secretary briefs reporters

It's been 42 days since Sarah Sanders took questions from reporters.
27:12 | 03/11/19

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Transcript for White House press secretary briefs reporters
And. Happy Monday thanks assorted other weaken us here at ABC news I'm John San Suu Kyi in the briefing room along with our political director Rick Klein great to be here with you thank you diamond wire on a good break and we've got a busy week and Rick pop quiz right here in the start. 42 days since this last happened yes I think I know what it is an. Is at a press briefing eight media. Briefing finally soar one of those Sharon Sanders at the podium not too long ago I wanted to streets EBC's chief White House correspondent John I think Carl he was also in the room John. I mean did you almost all over there we haven't seen Sarah Sanders and. Over a month. We got the announcement I didn't know exactly what to make of it sort of remind yourself how briefing works but. But John and Rick I. I don't know just talking to our two are my fellow Bob reporters here for ABC in the ABC Booth at the White House. The decline of the white house press press briefing can almost to the DA. BB. Time to the launch of this show yeah. Is that it will I in June but you know what are his usual and that are less vacation. So I think she came. Act for Rick and Heidi I don't ask don't live a better water there. I don't know Devonshire guard vacationing or brought them but John let's start with that press briefing because you and others were asking about those comments the president mean. Over the weekend in a closed door fund raiser down at moral Longo allegedly saying that Democrats. Hate Jewish people let's take a listen to your exchange with Sarah Sanders. Sir that the president. The president said that Democrats hate Jewish people according to a recent report also see him tweet. In the last. Couple of days that Democrats are the quote anti Jewish party. That does the president really believe Democrats choose. The president's done an unwavering and admitted ally to Israel and the Jewish people. And frankly the remarks that have been made by number of Democrats and failed to be called out by a Democrat leadership. It is frankly a porous and it's sad and it's something that. Should be called by name it shouldn't be good in a watered down resolution that should be done the way the Republicans did it when Steve King made terrible comments we called out by name we stripped him of his committee memberships. And we'd like to see Democrats follow suit. But let me ask for personal you richest UK the president correct me if I'm wrong has not condemns the UK. For what he said praising white supremacy as the president publicly come out and said anything. Asked to resign at. I condemn president on the number of topics and I've talked about that a number of times and I'd refer you back to those comments right used words like a horrid an unacceptable. So John and you know not really answer there from Sarah sinners but as you rightly pointed out we never heard the president come out and condemn Steve K. Though the presence had multiple opportunities to come out and say anything critical of Steve King in the comments that he made comments that were condemned. But by the House of Representatives. As as Sarah points out but not condemned by the president of the United States not at all. And on the question of whether or not the president believes what he was quoted saying. They did he did. There were several other reporters that went back to that question to try to get an answer she never directly answered it's an extraordinary. Statement. And even if you put that aside. Because that is something that all was reportedly said over the weekend at a fund raiser a downer moral law go we know that the president publicly has come out. To say that Democrats are an anti Jewish party. We just just just put this in context. Roughly 80%. Of voters in the mid terms voted for him. Dubbed of Jewish voters voted for you Democrats and if you look at the current makeup of congress. You have over thirty. Jews in congress only took them. Are Republicans so it's really an extraordinary statement for the president to say. Either Democrats hate Jews are Democrats are the court anti Jewish party but no direct answer on that from sir Sanders. And John I think that's what the presidency some political potency there and it's to try to rub that in because the Democrats and all week. Hand wringing over the comments by one of their own freshman members but the president also said just on Friday condemned that that resolution that the house passed overwhelmingly and actually was only Republicans who voted against that and if you re just the text of the resolution. He just convene it condemned hatred and bigotry in all forms maybe they thought it was too broad the president is very critical. Of even that mover which put him in the minority in his own party. Put him within the minority of his own part of the argument on that resolution is that. It should have specifically. Condemned the remarks by congresswoman Omar the way the the resolution against Steve King specifically. Condemned Steve King. But still pretty hard resolution to vote against when it is basically simply saying. That it condemns hate. Jonathan Karl over at the White House cleaner and much more tonight on ABC's world news tonight thank you sir we appreciate you joining you. Sucked in a little bit coming back inside the brief her and obviously the reason that we did see Sarah Sanders say Rick is the fact that they are releasing the president's proposed 20/20 federal budget 10 vote wishlists to be the best way to explain their budget one thing that is coming back in that budget I guess you know try try again. The war Yahoo! did due to be doing it on the wall last I don't what happened CEO let's really go to on the value in all government shut down over the congress' refusal sucked up on the wall so yes 08 billion dollars plus. For the border wall more than eight and a half million dollars in this budget proposal from the border wall 5000 Border Patrol agents are seeing the president's priorities laid out here in very real terms. John is look. There's also Washington game of how you declare budget to be dead on arrival in this was dead upon delivery you know before a lot riding a room and it didn't write in writing even Republicans saying that there's really no chance that this becomes law the Democrats controlled house yeah of course. They are under no obligation to take up any of these. But does that is that statement of principles it's pretty stark in his UC budget deficits adding to the debt as far as the eye can see. Very strict cuts in domestic spending including a lot of health care programs as part of this and yes it encapsulates a whole bunch of priorities like defense spending by pork spending. But man there are a lot of domestic cuts in here that I think Republicans would be hard pressed to the fentanyl that. The question let's could ABC's deputy political director Mary Alice park she's up on the hill so Mary Alice obviously both sides of the aisle are going to be weighing in on this budget from president trump and his team what are you hearing so far up on the hill. Well tomorrow the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget will be here on Capitol Hill explaining this budget is obviously there's two questions at play here. What the president would like to spend and what he would like to spend it on. And each of those new percentages those those cuts of the departed education cuts apartment energy. Represented. Program cotton and potentially programs that in theory and the average American arms come to rely on. Right and I guess the other question here Mary Alice is the you know as there's gonna sort of be some. Dialogue and negotiation with Democrats they obviously control the house. Where's going to be some of the common ground that president trump is gonna try to find with house speaker Nancy close here to pass something. Hunt that is a great question and I'm not why I stay. I think that in this dark of the different in agenda between these two parties you know we're hearing from Democrats. An eagerness to spend more on health care. Not last to spend more on public education not less to do more on environmental protection and food stamps and food security. And here when you look across the board. Republicans in this budget are proposing a much smaller federal government and a real roll back on some programs that again have. Bin sort of mainstays. In health care and education space for Americans. Mall and port to speaking of health care do wanna move into our next topic completely related here on the budget because part of this new budget proposal from the trump administration. Is a huge boost of funding in to HIV research 291. Million dollars I do want to bring in doctor David Rosenthal. He's the director of young adult and pediatric HIV research at north bowl health systems on Long Island New York. Doctor a great to have you with does a too long islanders with you to sell were in good company here sir we appreciate your time. What's your first reaction. Two this huge injection of cash from the trump budget. That's something I think is really important when it looks that is I think this is based on a plan that Anthony out from the NIH put together our. Basically takes current resource that we have available right now and really allows us to make a difference in being able to you decrease the number HIV aids is on the states right now. You know and doctor I was surprised actually did Terry Reid his urges today get ready effort to have you with us today. In 2017. Nearly 40000. New HIV diagnosis. In the United States so where we see the number going mean you're you're the expert here over the last several years has this number consistently take Tupperware and we actually see the number of cases at the mall. It's so we've been fortunate. The numbers are actually plateaued over the past three years but unfortunately there are certain groups that the numbers are stealing everything and then nice thing about this proposal and it's something that we're looking across health care in general. Is as we want to address treatment as prevention we wanna get individuals who are ready beaten treated you already start. It decreased their virus that they're not I'm not transmit the virus. No explanation that beach music HIV prevention methodologies like crap which is one don't want the Natick bird a transmission of HIV to be able to prevent pirates from spreading. Doctor Rosenthal I'm curious how you see this fitting in with the other budget priorities outlined by the White House today. Another aspect of the president's proposal would cut one and a half trillion dollars from Medicaid over ten years block granting to states giving states a lot more discretion. I'm curious your take on how that might impact public health prevention in the HIV aids world and elsewhere can you look at this. In a vacuum and say we're only gonna focus on the HIV aids funding when there's so many other proposed budget cots to public health. I think let me just take a look at public health across the board we need to take a look at all of the social determinant of how how we're going to address health care Americans. Across the board and I don't think any one policy or one proposal is going to be able to be looked at an isolation we have to look at it all ballistic late. The issue that we need to make sure that we're doing it does we need to make sure we're Alex or allocating resources to make sure that we can make significant changes in health care where we have B billion deal that. And it leveraging the latest knowledge that we haven't and health care and arts and that happen. Doctor David Rosenthal with north well held in New York sir we appreciate you joining us is after any BC thank you very much. Coming back here in the briefing room and add the other thing that we are all. Waiting for you mean it feels like every day we're trying to figure out what's happening with special counsel Robert Mueller. Eventual that's your job yeah I know rake I'm Matthew into good and it appears dazed but what we're trying to figure out here is what's gonna happen. Two special counsel's probe is a resolution. Up on Capitol Hill right now Mary Alice you've been watching. This for the better part of the last couple weeks what is its exact plan right now that house Democrats are trying to get past. Show us their report that is the message from house Democrats even sang it in their committee hearings. The chairmen appear on Capitol Hill have been. Saying it over and over and interviews on cable news. Well now they're taking that idea to a vote on the house floor we're expecting later this week for members there to vote. To encourage the attorney general to make public. Any final report. Now obviously under regulations he doesn't have to do that there's been a lot of conversation about how much of us summary he could provide. That would check the box but might not check off exactly what Democrats are hoping they're going to be able to show with the American people. Now why all of this sort of circular is all list rolls around a fact and that so much control remains in the hands of the attorney general. And that's frustrating for members of congress they feel like they have an oversight role here and they want to have a public document. And frustrating really Rick for everybody right because so many people want to know what special counsel Robert Mueller has found. Over the last now 22 months. All of his investigation a lot of money a lot of time we know Sony people of gone in for interviews. But this will be a next phase of this process when he eventually hands over report. DLJ's got a review this thing and then we're gonna see what version of it we get. And we learned that a whole lot of this fall to the discretion of the Justice Department because the special counsel's names. Under the auspices of the Justice Department is no statute that governs it is no requirement that Mueller. Do or say anything to Mary Alice is point about the votes that are gonna happen in the house they'll be mostly symbolic of the resolutions. Asking for it to happen they could at some point call Bob Mueller himself to testify in a private citizen. If it comes to it but we still aren't clear what when he is saying anything what he will say and that ultimately what the public will be told about it. In its who are watching it you can find all of our look latest reporting on the special counsel's probe at abcnews.com. As we. Try to figure out when this reports coming in the most of our staff is trying to therapy gonna canceled a key shots the way this is going I travel insurance but. On another topic here related to present in trump and a piece of the investigations. We're hearing for the first time for the man behind the catching killed deals Keith Davidson he was the lawyer one point four stormy Daniels and Cary McDougal ABC's chief national correspondent town Rihanna sat down with him. Tom a rare interview. Four mr. Davidson. Who many would argue was the architect. Of these deals to keep these two women that. The loot their stories came out could add a huge impact on the presidential election. Right and if for some it's great to be with both you guys and we just did the podcast investigation which is also up from ABC news and and you are asked keep. About this and it essentially the question I have from was. With Michael Cody make the biggest mistake of his life essentially paying off stormy Daniels that second time because what we reveal nor interview was. Initially there was a first payment that Michael Cohen never made it had a contract set. But then the Access Hollywood tape hit. And and its keys understanding the icky Davidson's understanding. That essentially the campaign wanted them to pay this around because they thought if the axis Hollywood tape would hit. And then the revelation that get an alleged affair with a porn star would also hit in the campaign would be completely over. He also says from the question from that the southern district of New York prosecutors they wanted to hone in on this timeline. So there are convinced it's his opinion they're convinced this was all political that the only reason why Michael Cohen paid was not to protect it from family rather was to protect the trump campaign. Because after that opt Access Hollywood tape it hit. He wanted to make sure there were no other catastrophes like this would have been. It later turned out to be to biggest one of the campaign. And in town want to. Play a little bit of your interview with Keith Davidson how you're obviously asked him about stormy Daniels here's what he said T. And you cannot talk about stormy Daniels and the understanding and and in the settlement. With out talking about Access Hollywood. They they come hand in hand and Tim Rice clear to me and I think clear to prosecutors. That the Access Hollywood tape was the motivating factor. And and this case actually resolving. It defeats the argument that this was done for purely personal reasons and that this was in fact done for political reasons. Because and I think after the Access Hollywood tape that something like this could be the straw that broke the camel's back. Anti obviously we know they Access Hollywood tape that infamous recording they came out. Of then candidate Donald Trump businessman Donald from actually when the recording happen. And then Access Hollywood host Billy bush of the time I wonder that's something you just mentioned there because for those of us following this and the investigation and the various probes going on you've got the congressional investigation special counsel's investigation but as you just mentioned. You have the southern district of New York investigation to where Michael Cole and was ultimately charged so. Keith Davidson actually met Tom what we'd be investigators in new. York fifteen hours with investigators he turned over 15100. Documents and now he's on the list. For the house investigators well so he'll meet with them as well and he is what say you gotta remember. This is the guy who negotiated the deal with Michael Cohen from the get go. This is the guy who negotiated a deal with David Pecker and EMI to buy the life rights of Cary McDougal he was representing her as well he also share with us that one point. The terms of the contract for care McDougal was. AM my The National Enquirer we're essentially by her life story we learned that was a catch and kill scenario where they would never gonna publish the story of the alleged affair with Donald Trump. And then she certainly get upset because part of the contract was they had to promote her in the eighty in my magazines they own several magazines beyond The National Enquirer and she was upset because she wasn't getting promoted. They sat down according to Davidson. At a New York diner in Europe restaurant should say nobody was there just them David Pecker was staking her so much at one point you said. Thank you for your loyalty and David senators to that to mean think it's your loyalty to the contract but also to Donald Trump as well so you know this guy's. Davidson he really played an integral role in so much that is happen because you've got to remember. The Michael Cohen payment set off so many alarms both with the baking industry with the southern district of New York. With smaller. That without that payment you've got to wonder where would be right now. And the biggest dominoes fall for sure and. I'm another big headline out of your interview is senators on the contention the Michael Cohen made himself here on Capitol Hill a couple of weeks ago when he says he never wanted the job in the White House and outlets for element of that exchange. All congress that he did not want to work in the White House so he told you. At times he told me that and at times he told me other things what did he tell you. Well there's a period of time after the election but for the inauguration Michael. Called me it was a weekend today it sort of midmorning and it's just dealing with a hustle and bustle of all of its. When he called me he was. Extremely. I wouldn't say. Angry but he was despondent he was despondent and depressed. And he confided in me that he was just. There beside himself and in his words. He said can you acting believe I just can't F king believe it can you I think believe after everything I've done. He's not taking me to Washington. They're your first question maybe you know how would keep get this sort of friendship with Michael Cawley said eat it was bizarre. At first they sorted out as sort of enemies the person ever spoke was 2011. When hot seat with orbiting stormy Daniels and that's the first time a web site. Report on the alleged affair between stormy Daniels and Donald Trump at the time the affair happened what way before that years before that but that was the first time it was somewhere on the public. Michael Cohen allegedly calls keep Davidson tells them he's in a crawl and Orpheus and his body and not let go and destroy his career. So they go from that it's 4011 to twenty passports which when he sixteen they start negotiating the stormy Daniels deal because they come back to each other. And after they negotiate that deal they beat sort of become friends and away. And Michael just keeps calling keep the talk. And the actually negotiate another deal as well they do business on another deal with the Republican fund raiser named Elliot Brody but they've beaten sort of become friends. And he says Michael keeps calling and an into the thing that struck him was. In the beginning he you know Michael Cohen thought he was gonna go to the White House when he realized he wasn't around the time of the inauguration. Things just changed he also shared other story where he said. You know can you believe this SOB is not good even pay me back or hasn't paid me back something to that effect because he said at that point Donald Trump had not paid him back for the son Daniel's payment we now know by the time. Donald Trump does pay him back. It's sort of too late because he's already president. While an idiot Tom I just gonna ask you mean you you. There was appointing you and I used to travel together and we both celta with Michael Cohen. Quite a lot brown. That old story alone right there kinda surprises me that you can go from being the enemy of Michael Cohen two becoming the friend by night on the phone that I'm confessing tale. Right and I I sort of Assam about that but that the wet what I understood is that they just were talking so much of that Michael the weight he described in heat heat. Elaborate more on the pod cast investigation. Earlier today when we sat down with him was that he likes to talk you like to talk on the phone and key. And that talking with teeth. An after the stormy Daniels deal was all done they ended up working on another deal together. And it seems like that kind of communication sort of continued I know what you're saying I mean and we all know the lead the reputation of Michael Cohen in. And keep David's even says he he knew that side of Michael Coen as well because I asked him if he believed the Michael Korda was testifying in congress. Who was much more subdued it. You know sort of someone who looks like he you've been dependents are ready. That's not the Michael Cohen that that people be on the campaign trail not the Michael Cohen you don't without the Michael Cohen that that I had to deal with. But there there are many sides to Michael comb from what keep Davison told me. Yeah I know you definitely sore different side in congress than what we sore. And funny sixteen Tommy honest great to have you you can catch more of Townsend to be ready abcnews.com. And as Tom's mention we actually sat down with Keith again. For another interview on the investigation that new episode. Launching tomorrow much appreciated town guys thank you. Cutting back inside the briefing room another thing that you in the gang are watching this you picked on my job pick on yours. 21 each money. You've got a lot of people announcing. And it doesn't seem to stop another big weekend on the campaign trail but not in Iowa. Net New Hampshire and Texas. Seats in the heart of Texas SXSW which is usually a big technology form to be can't be political forum over the weekend I think a look at some of the candidates as they hit something like the trail something like a campaign trail at SXSW. The I want to give avoid. A. At constant. Attacks. What label are you. Where do you you know how are you different and I want us in a really good way and maybe this is a Pollyanna just be able to discuss policy differences. Look I'm not a great fan looking back. Mark gold right now being in Texas. Is to make sure that we significantly increase voter turnout for 2000 anything to recall that in. And the number one imperative that we have we were told his members a congress is to get reelected. Indicate your fellow Democrats reelected and defeat those Republicans with whom you serve so that we can be in the majority and do great stuff so the motives. Were you know noble perhaps we need to be in power so we can help the American people. By the way it's great he president trump has been unsuccessful. Unwinding the Obama administration. Guys are not Smart enough to figure out how to do new rule these are people who could not run a two car funeral. So as a result of this many of the rules they try to get rid of that care. But to the extent they're successful after litigation we want to restore those clean energy rules of the Obama administration. Old world in which there are billionaires. Buckle obscurity examples it's it's billionaire is. Who go to congress. And persuade congress. To give them giant tax breaks. While the want to take away health care. From tens of millions of children. OK so adding that whole group one of these is not look like the other. They don't doubt that oral or is he doing there ya he's not a member congress this race is hanging around Texas is still early this Holmes whose local their first screening of a documentary made about his senate campaign but of course the questions. Our our rained down on him are you running argument he keeps telling people he is made up his mind he's waiting to share it. We are putting that mean. Yes I really hope I get appointed and love him very much of yes we'll see if it happens when it happens that between that Joseph Biden those the last two being dominoes to fall he 12020 puzzle and it does seem from people around him that he is leaning toward the yes camp this would have been is that the time the law yeah he's totally Aaron Texas but that we don't have a fight. And as we see things sort of move forward you're the Democrats and torn each morning that some news today if finally nailed down with a gonna hold their big convention get ready for Milwaukee it's Miller time at the convention what do you think yeah this is this is a big announcement clearly a lot of waiting on this the other two finalists were interesting on this. Miami Miami Beach and Houston so Miami. And even when essential swing state PL battleground state. Actually the battle the battle I was gonna shifted to the upper midwest Grande fla which is often seen as an as a must win. Is really not the same kind of missed must win that was in Austin as being symbolic value and a. Really when you think about the veto crews race from the last cycle when he was running and senator Ted Cruz. He'll be awoken me Texas and place the Democrats are and LT and a look at. Yeah and I think the talk about Houston that was related to the fact that that's only lost by three points in Texas and north Texas there was a reach for the Democrats. Bottom line is if the Democrats don't win Wisconsin they don't win the presidency and they recognize that and to me this was an important statement by the DNC. That you need to launch the presidential campaign into the summer in the fall next year off from a state you have to win that being in their judgment was content creates the most important question. Korean enjoy Milwaukee drive time a year what do you think this July in Wisconsin vs July in Miami or Houston. Yes it's going to be able to don't know I got people say it's going to be human not like -- and are now again and I got this in Milwaukee as the place to be near the Wisconsin -- variety gorgeous ring mackerel or at all Wisconsin friends are very excited about it like people like John Parkinson had an eagle Eric rise very excited about the fact that we're going to be there you know. Cat McKenzie who runs our show here she's angry hamburgers as I'm and khaki any military body okay. She's there she's got okay everybody all that is they do it for a say in the briefing room for Rick Klein I'm Janice and you can thanks much for joining us. Can always download BBC news app for any news anytime you are watching. EC. Yeah.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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